# How draw lines at certain angle on a function graph in TikZ

How can one draw orthogonal tick marks on a function? For instance in the following plot I would like to make orthogonal tick marks on the function y=x^2, say.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{tikz}
\begin{document}
\begin{tikzpicture}
\draw[->] (-3,0) -- (4.2,0) node[right] {$x$};
\draw[->] (0,-3) -- (0,4.2) node[above] {$y$};
\draw[scale=0.5,domain=-3:3,smooth,variable=\x,blue] plot ({\x},{\x*\x});
\draw[scale=0.5,domain=-3:3,smooth,variable=\y,red]  plot ({\y*\y},{\y});
\end{tikzpicture}
\end{document}


I kind of know it will involve \foreach, but I am not sure how to proceed.

To make things clear, I would like to have the tick marks "following" the graph of the function. Also if there are two or more functions on the same plot, then each should have a separate option for decoration. Please see comments below.

• What do you mean by "orthogonal tikz"?
– Jake
Nov 13, 2013 at 12:21
• Lines/arrows that are at 90 degrees angle to the graph. Of course a more general degree angle is better, but 90 degrees is OK too. Nov 13, 2013 at 12:22
• – Jake
Nov 13, 2013 at 12:25
• @LoveLearning: if the answer Jake linked helped you we might consider to close this question as a duplicate. Do you agree? Nov 13, 2013 at 12:51
• I expected a better answer of the type: Let y be a function of x, i.e. y=f(x) then; \foreach x on the graph of "f" draw a vector at angle \theta with spacing S between the vectors. Nov 13, 2013 at 13:20

You can use a markings decoration for this.

Note that, for some reason, this doesn't work with the smooth option.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{tikz}
\usetikzlibrary{decorations.markings}

\begin{document}
\begin{tikzpicture}[
decoration={
markings,
mark={
between positions 0 and 1 step 0.4cm
with {\draw (0,-1mm) -- (0,1mm);}
}}
]
\draw[->] (-3,0) -- (4.2,0) node[right] {$x$};
\draw[->] (0,-3) -- (0,4.2) node[above] {$y$};
\draw[scale=0.5,domain=-3:3,blue, postaction=decorate] plot ({\x},{\x*\x});
\draw[scale=0.5,domain=-3:3,variable=\y,red, postaction=decorate]  plot ({\y*\y},{\y});
\end{tikzpicture}
\end{document}

• Such an elegant solutions Jake, thank you very much! Nov 13, 2013 at 13:56
• Do you think it is possible with two different styles/types of decoration (one for each line, say) in the same graph? Nov 13, 2013 at 13:59
• Yes, that's possible. What styles were you thinking of?
– Jake
Nov 13, 2013 at 14:05
• Some thing like \draw[scale=0.5, domain=-3:3, blue, decoration={ markings, mark={ between positions 0 and 1 step 0.4cm with {\draw (0,-1mm) -- (0,1mm);} }}, postaction=decorate] plot ({\x},{\x*\x}); and change what you want.
– user11232
Nov 14, 2013 at 1:41
• @LoveLearning: That will be a duplicate. \draw[scale=0.5, domain=-3:3, variable=\x,blue, decoration={ markings, mark={ between positions 0 and 1 step 0.4cm with {\draw (0,0) -- (0,1mm);} }}, postaction=decorate] plot ({\x},{\x*\x}); and \draw[scale=0.5, domain=-3:3, variable=\y,red, decoration={ markings, mark={ between positions 0 and 1 step 0.4cm with {\draw (0,0) -- (0,-1mm);} }}, postaction=decorate] plot ({\y*\y},{\y}); should do what you want. Remove the options for tikzpicture of course.
– user11232
Nov 14, 2013 at 13:11